BMW’s research division, Forschung und Technik, has developed a next-generation hydrogen fuel storage system for cars and in the process has allowed the carmaker to edge closer to the volume production of hydrogen powered vehicles. Teaming up with partners, including Air Liquide, Daimler AG, Dynetek Europe and Ford, engineers have developed a new type of tank made of advanced composite materials that’s much safer than previous designs.

Its lightweight construction also means the weight of the entire tank system can be reduced to one third that of conventional cylindrical steel tanks. Another added benefit of composite construction is that the shape of the tank can be molded to suit any vehicle, once again reducing cost and adding flexibility.

Filled with ten kilograms of hydrogen, its creators think it could allow a range well in excess of 350 miles in a future vehicle. In comparison, the current Hydrogen7 only has a range of 100 miles.

BMW will take its hydrogen focus a step further by constructing a 4,500 gallon fueling station near its U.S. headquarters in New Jersey for a fleet of new hydrogen-powered cars.